Reports surfaced today regarding a savage beating in East Lansing, MI in which Zachary Tennen, a 19-year-old sophomore Journalism student at Michigan State University, was asked if he was Jewish before two men of college age beat the crap out him. This attack included a Hitler salute and the
symbolic torture of trying to staple the boys mouth together shit getting kicked out of the kid. Updated info here.
According to the report from The Detroit Free Press, the police in East Lansing aren’t yet ready to call this hate crime a hate crime. They have witnesses and a suspect.
But here is the kicker:
Zachary told his parents no one at the party helped him as he was attacked and then thrown out of the gathering. He took a cab to Sparrow Hospital in Lansing for initial treatment, but underwent surgery at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland hospital in Pontiac overnight to have his jaw wired shut, his mother said.
The facts are bad enough here: A 19-year old kid was beaten for being Jewish. That is horrific. Adding to these nasty truths we know that no one who saw this go down helped this boy. It is inexcusable.
Unsurprisingly, Tennen said that not only the physical but the emotional trauma “isn’t very pleasant.”
A quote from a German minster comes to mind.
I have a cousin who is in his 90s who survived the Holocaust. I am sure he would be telling me that this is why Jews need to own guns. And it is hard to argue this point away in times like this. Now, I am sure that the lefties among us will be quick to call for a summit of students, setting schedules to talk about working this out, and finding common ground and learning from this attack. But I can’t get past the abject indifference of the party goers. The people who will show up to the rally aren’t the problem…and unfortunately they are most likely in the minority.
There will always be antisemites and they will always do violence. But come on America. Step up. East Lansing isn’t exactly a metropolis but it isn’t the backwoods of Deliverance either. It is a college town with a diverse student population. The Hillel director from MSU was quoted in the Free Press story saying that every once in a while they get an event that forces them to say “You know what, we still have a long way to go.”
I went to school where our Hillel was stoned and burnt. A campus sukkah was defaced with a swastika. But the kind of physical violence that took place in East Lancing luckily never found its way to Davis, CA. But I would like to think that if it did, someone would have stepped up to help.